Beginning February 8th, more than $325 million in federal funding will be used to provide financial assistance and counseling for homeowners financially impacted by COVID-19. The Emergency Rescue Mortgage Assistance Program (ERMA) will assist eligible homeowners with up to $35,000 in aid. The funds for the program have been allocated by Congress from the Homeowner Assistance Program within the federal stimulus American Rescue Plan.

“Thousands of hardworking families in New Jersey have faced unprecedented burdens over the last two years due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mercer County Clerk Paula Sollami Covello. “This program will provide much needed assistance for individuals who have suffered hardships over the past few years to stay on their feet and in their homes.”

To be eligible for financial assistance, families must have suffered a COVID-19 related financial hardship occurring after Jan. 20, 2020, such as increased expenses due to child care or funeral expenses, or lost income such as having lost a job. To be eligible, a family must earn less than 150 percent of their respective county’s median income.

To see if you qualify, visit FY 2021 Homeowner Assistance Fund Income Limits. ERMA will also provide free housing counseling services to help homeowners apply for this program. Counselors will guide them through all available options, and even work with their loan servicers to achieve the best outcome possible for their family.

These counselors will also ensure that the process is accessible to those without access to the internet or those having difficulties navigating the process. For assistance applying for the program, call 855-647-7700 or email HAFServicing@njhmfa.gov. For a list of free housing counselors who can help with your application, visit tinyurl.com/HAFcounselor.

Applications for assistance can be submitted at njerma.com beginning Feb. 8 at 9 a.m.